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Oppose Extension of Tax Cuts for the Wealthy

 

BACKGROUND:

The tax cuts enacted under the previous administration will expire at the end of the calendar year without Congressional action. Recognizing the challenges that low- and middle-income families face while the economy regains its footing, President Obama has proposed extending the tax cuts for all families making less than $250,000 a year and all individuals making less than $200,000. Extending tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans will increase the federal budget deficit by $700 billion over ten years, hindering our ability to protect the solvency of Social Security and Medicare; to fund programs like unemployment insurance and food stamps that protect the most vulnerable in our society; and to pay down the deficit over the long-term. Moreover, the Congressional Budget Office recently ranked eleven job creation strategies and identified extending tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans was the least effective strategy. After eighteen straight months of unemployment above nine percent, the federal government should direct its revenue towards initiatives that will help those who have suffered the brunt of the economic downturn.

JEWISH VALUES:

From the Torah's command that we shall "open our hands to the poor and needy among us" (Deuteronomy 15:7), Judaism has developed a rich tradition of communal social services. Everyone who had established residency in a community was responsible to pay into two funds to support the poor: the kuppah, and the tamchui. These funds were used to provide money and food, respectively, for those in need in the community. Other funds were established to provide clothing and burial needs, and education and health care were provided free to all those who could not afford to pay. Our commitment to such services is based on these values and precedents.

TAKE ACTION:

Urge your members of Congress to oppose extension of tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans. The Capitol Switchboard can be reached at 202.224.3121, or you can send an e-mail by entering your zip code below. For more information, please contact Eisendrath Legislative Assistant Jonathan Backer at 202.387.2800.

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 TALKING POINTS:

-As a constituent and a Reform Jew, I urge you to oppose extension of tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

-Extending tax cuts for the wealthy is projected to increase the federal budget deficit by $700 billion, preventing the government from spending on priorities that help working families.

-The Congressional Budget Office rates tax cuts for the wealthy as the least effective among eleven job creation strategies.

-October was the eighteenth straight month with unemployment above nine percent; Congress should focus its efforts on initiatives that will put people back to work.

-As a Reform Jew, my tradition emphasizes the need for communal social services. Extending tax cuts for the wealthy undermines the ability of the federal government to fund such programs.